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Re: [seul-edu] Comprehensive Student Management System

I have some sympathies with both points of view below. But let me try a
different take on it.

Web interfaces may well be a platform-independent common ground, but they
are also awfully limiting. A full-strength GUI crafted with even moderate
skill on ANY of the main platforms -- Windows, MacOS, or X (Linux or Unix)
-- offers vastly more flexibility than the best Web interfaces I see out
there. For that reason, devices like Linux-based XTerminals (= old 486s,
mainly) make much better devices for point-of-contact use than Web-enabled
widgets do, especially in single-purpose PoC users like cafeteria payment lines.

So I agree that we should push Linux forward where it is useful, not just
for the sake of promoting Linux. But with applications that are at all
competently written (by which I mean they only need to be good, not
excellent) the advantages of a full-strength UI will show themselves. We
just need not to feel tied to the least-common-demoninator interface that is
constricting thinking in software design.

It all works together. The Linux-as-XTerms crowd has really solved the
problem of turning old PCs into decent XTerminals. Now we need developers to
write apps that exploit this opportunity ... not just "because it's there"
but because it permits superior interface design.

In moving to the Web, we've really let ourselves come to tolerate too much
misery in how we deal with our interfaces. We can argue forever about which
windowing environment has the best interface capabilities ... but who will
argue seriously that a Web browser is anywhere near as good as whichever of
the three he or she sees as the worst of the choices? 

At 11:57 AM 8/31/00 -0700, Dan Kubilos wrote:

Doug Loss wrote:
>> it's probably a good idea to have such front ends, but I think it's also
>> important to have native Linux front-ends that are easier to use and perhaps
>> more fully featured.  I want to see Linux on the desktop, not just in the
>> closet or the server farm.
>I really don't care where it is as long as the reason I implement it makes
>sense.  Solid solutions will win over more users than solutions engineered
>with a certain marketing goal in mind.  

------------------------------------"Never tell me the odds!"---
Ray Olszewski                                        -- Han Solo
Palo Alto, CA           	 	         ray@comarre.com